In a major victory for agricultural producers, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Army Corps of Engineers have withdrawn the Waters of the United States (WOTUS) interpretive rule, whose goal was to clear up confusion about what farming activities were exempt from the Clean Water Act. Agricultural critics had said the rule did just the opposite.

The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) applauded the decision and called for better communication between the regulatory agencies and the agricultural community going forward. “Farmers have a lot of concerns about WOTUS,” says Chip Bowling, president of NCGA. “What we need is clarity. The interpretive rule actually made things less clear. We hope that the withdrawal of the interpretive rule will allow us to get to the true matter at hand: how the Clean Water Act is administered.”

The National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) also praised the withdrawal, saying the interpretive rule would actually have made it harder for farmers to implement water conservation measures.